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Fountain Golden Ear

Fountain Golden Ear
Fountain Golden Ear

Fountain Golden Ear – a unique fountain in the form of a huge wheat ear, one of the three main fountains at VDNKh along with “Friendship of Peoples” and “Stone Flower”. It is located in the center of the Third Kamensky Pond (Pond No. 3), right in the middle of the water surface.

Description of the monument

A huge shiny ear is planted on a flat granite base, at its foot there are 3 cornucopias with vegetables and fruits: cabbage, pumpkin, tomatoes, apples, grapes and others. You might think that the figure is gilded, but in fact it is not: the ear is made of reinforced concrete and trimmed with smalt – a mosaic of colored opaque glass made using a special smelting technology with the addition of metal oxides. An elegant smalt mosaic covers the entire surface of the sculpture, giving it a golden sheen, the desired colors and texture. Thanks to her, the fountain plays in the sun in a very special way and does not “fade” in cloudy weather. Jets of water are knocked out from under the scales of the ear, as if the water continues its “antennae”.

The total height of the fountain is 16 meters. It erupts 66 jets of water, 30 of which reach a height of 25 meters: it looks especially impressive in windy weather, when the wind seems to disperse the water fog around the Golden Ear.

The authors of the fountain: architects Konstantin Topuridze and G.D. Konstantinovsky, sculptor Prokopy Dobrynin.

Fountain Kolos at VDNKh
Fountain Kolos at VDNKh

The history of the fountain “Golden Ear”

The history of the fountain is inextricably linked with the history of the Exhibition itself, in fact, it is the history of two fountains with the same idea at once.

The first fountain in the form of an ear in the center of the Third Kamensky Pond was conceived and implemented according to the project of the architect Vyacheslav Oltarzhevsky. Even at the stage of planning the territory of the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition of 1937, Oltarzhevsky, the chief architect of the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition, designed a walking area around the fountain and pond, which would house the trade pavilions Glavkonditer, Glavchai, Glavtabak, Glavpivo, Glavkonserv, “Glavkholod” and others, as well as a restaurant. It is curious that the idea of ​​the Kolos fountain came to Oltarzhevsky under the impression of the Cactus fountain, designed by architects Andre Granet and Roger-Henri Exper for the International Colonial Exhibition, which was held in 1931 in Paris.

The project was carried out: a huge fountain in the form of an ear was assembled from copper sheets and solemnly stood out against the background of snow-white pavilions. However, the choice of materials was not so successful and made the fountain short-lived: due to corrosion, the metal darkened and collapsed, and in just a few years it fell into disrepair, and already in 1949 the fountain was completely dismantled.

Fountain Kolos in Moscow
Fountain Kolos in Moscow

The second fountain appeared in the 1950s, when the VSHV turned into VDNKh – the Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy.

In 1954, preparing for the opening of the renovated VDNKh, the architect Konstantin Topuridze and the sculptor Prokopiy Dobrynin created the new Golden Ear fountain. It became larger than before and reached a height of 16 meters, and instead of copper they used reinforced concrete covered with smalt mosaic; the figure of an ear was complemented by cornucopias made in the same style, placed on its granite base. 66 jets of the fountain were served by two pumps, which supplied about 200 liters of water every second – for those years it was truly grandiose. A certain symbolism was also laid in it – it played the role of a triumphal column, symbolizing life, rebirth and fertility in a country that survived the difficult war and post-war years.

However, time also did not spare the second “Golden Ear”: since the 1980s it began to deteriorate, and in the 1990s it was turned off. The fountain did not work for almost 30 years, and only in 2016-2018 it was strengthened, repaired and restored.

On July 15, 2018, the fountain was re-launched.

Today, the Golden Ear is not only a landmark of VDNKh, but also one of the most famous and impressive fountains in Moscow. He managed to earn the true love of the townspeople: even in the years when he did not work, Muscovites still came to look at him – at least as a sculpture and an amazing monument of a bygone era.

The Golden Ear Fountain is located on the Third Kamensky Pond on the territory of VDNKh, not far from the Tobacco Pavilion. You can get to it on foot from the metro stations “VDNKh” and “Botanichesky Sad” of the Kaluzhsko-Rizhskaya line, as well as “Vladykino” of the Serpukhovsko-Timiryazevskaya line.

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